A decades-old plan to have central Victoria’s goldfields classified as a world heritage site has received fresh momentum following a meeting of municipalities in Creswick this week.
The idea was originally flagged in the late 1980s by then-federal member for Bendigo John Brumby, who advocated for a 14,000 square kilometre site bordered by Ballarat in the south and Charlton in the north to be recognised as the best example of the landscape created by the 19th century gold rush.
All indications we have is that’s of national significance and possibly world significance because it’s one of the few that are left in the world.Trevor Budge
Council strategy manager Trevor Budge represented the City of Greater Bendigo at the talks, and said while there was still a lot of work to do to determine which sites in the area might be eligible for recognition, there was no shortage of candidates, including the old gasworks and Pall Mall/View Street precinct.
“There are a number of projects in Bendigo that were listed at the sort of thing we’re talking about, clearly something like the gasworks in Bendigo, which all indications we have is that’s of national significance and possibly world significance because it’s one of the few that are left in the world,” he said.
“The Castlemaine diggings, which are already recognised by the state and federal governments as a national heritage park is obviously a prime one.”
Mr Budge said “very strong” interest and support from the majority of the 13 municipalities involved in the discussions had emerged from the preliminary meeting.
“If you look at where gold mining took place in the central Victoria area there was gold mining on the eastern and southern side of Ballarat, right across to the Grampians, to Stawell, and then right up to places like Wedderburn and then right across to Rushworth, which is in Campaspe, and then down through places like Malmsbury and so on which take in the Macedon Ranges,” he said.
“The big message out of all this was this is about collaboration amongst the municipalities and I think everyone was on board with that, it’s a shared destiny.”
With – The Courier